Blockchain was a hot topic during this year’s edition of the Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop. Hosted by the Legal Network of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) it is the world’s premier conference on legal aspects of Open Source and serves as a neutral, non-partisan group of experts. Vereign Co-Founders Dr. Felix Greve and Georg Greve put Blockchain on the agenda for this annual gathering in Barcelona with more than 400 participants from different legal systems, academic backgrounds and affiliations.
Dr. Felix Greve moderated the workshop on legal aspects of Blockchain which saw great interest and led to the formation of an ad-hoc deep dive and the creation of a Special Interest Group to explore the various intersections and areas of interest between Blockchain, Open Source and the global IT industry.
Some highlights from the initial conversations provided insights into the interconnection of Blockchain with existing, established areas of law. As a new technology, many protagonists have been operating on an assumption of being outside the reach of regulation, which is common, but ficticious. Thus the vast experience of Open Source legal best practices will be relevant and essential to the success of Blockchain, building upon a large body of accumulated legal expertise.
Recent examples in failing governance in some of the public permissionless Blockchain networks provide strong anecdotal evidence for urgently needed improvements in governance structures. As a real life Open Source technology, Blockchain is subject to many of the same challenges as most other Open Source technologies. Besides governance issues this also includes widely known necessities of data protection requirements, licensing terms and limitations of business automations through smart contracts.
The newly formed Special Interest Group shall provide an ongoing forum to shape the future of the legal dialogue around Blockchain, learning from the past and present. Vereign is going to take an active role in the group and we would like to invite all interested parties to get in touch.
Open collaboration is part of our core values and only in open, transparent dialogue will we be able to fully realize the potential of Blockchain for future generations.